Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Their Home, Too!

The Unveiling!!!

My last blog story shared the last many artworks that were created to finish the Peacebus project entitled, ‘Their Home, Too!’, but that was not the end of the story. Yes – the artworks were completed, but now I had to prepare these 63 artworks so that we could donate this art peace to the London Children’s Health Foundation.

While this project was being completed, the artworks were simply being taped to the roof of the Peacebus. Since I couldn’t donate the roof of the Peacebus – LOL – to the CHF I had to mount the artworks onto something else. I bought a 3’ x 4’ plywood board and some other wood to make the final presentation board.

All the wood that I used was coated with a primer paint to seal the wood to ensure that they wouldn’t bend (due to moisture) or discolour.

The front of the display board had to be divided so that I would know where each of the artworks would be mounted.

The framing boards had to be cut.

Eyebolts with locking nuts had to be added so the artwork could be hung on a wall.

There! Step one complete!!

Each artwork had been laminated and this means that each artwork had an additional ¼” of plastic surrounding it. When I was displaying these artworks on the bus I was easily able to overlap them to bring all the artworks closer together. For the final presentation I was not able to overlap the artworks and this would result in a ½” space between each artwork.

Because I didn’t want the white sealing paint to show between each artwork I had to mix small batches of paint of each colour used in this project. I then added ½” borders of paint around each space where an artwork would later be added.

To mount each artwork to the display board I used a basic all-purpose glue. Ha – even when I was adding the glue I was being artistic by creating fun wiggley lines on the back of each artwork.

I used small scraps of wood and half-filled paint cans to add a little weight to each artwork that was being glued down. This is as far as I got on the first day.

At the end of a few more days you can see that I was getting close to being finished.

And… Ta-da! Now the project was mounted, framed and ready to be presented to the CHF!!!

While all of this was going on, I got a phone call from a friend of mine. I’ve mentioned the name and I’ve shared many stories over the last few years about my environmental escapades with Maryanne Macdonald.

Maryanne was one of the creators of London’s newest community environmental magazine, Ecovox. I’ve been making contributions to this magazine since the first issue.

Throughout this spring, Maryanne has had many meetings with London’s Rogers Television Network and just last month Ecovox TV was born. It is a half-hour television series, showcasing unique individuals in the London community who are defenders of our global environment.

Maryanne wanted to do a segment on the happenings of the Peacebus. I’ll be posting a link and sharing that story in a few weeks – once it has aired. In the mean time, you can follow this link - http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=12&rid=9&sid=4271 - to get a small taste of some of the shows that have already been broadcast.

I mention this to explain…

… this photograph. These were the students who were interviewed for that TV series. Since they got to be in the spotlight for the television show I decided to have the unveiling at the other school that I drive for – to even things out.

But, I did want these students to see the final presentation of ‘Their Home, Too!’ so I brought the artwork on the bus, to their school and we had fun taking a few group photos. Since I don’t have permission (and that would have taken a few days to arrange) to show the students faces, I added some fun filters to this image so that the students identity would be safe. You can still see the positive expressions and energy of the students and that’s what I really wanted to share with you, anyway!

The artwork also spent a day in the office of Murphy Bus Lines. My co-workers and supervisors were all smiles when they saw it and everyone enjoyed it!

The official unveiling happened the next day at Jeanne Sauve Elementary School.

The event happened in their gymnasium, and soon the floor was filled with hundreds of students. While the students were still filing in, with many already seated, I found myself waving at the students from the Peacebus. Soon, more and more students started waving and flashing me with ‘the peace sign’ and then I decided to have some fun by creating a ‘peace wave’ throughout the gym.

A few moments later, Mme Mallet – the school’s vice principal – calmed the audience and then introduced me to the students.

I told the room full of ‘Future Leaders of the World’ that I wanted to sing a song with them - a song that the students of the Peacebus and I sing quite often. Instead of staying at the front of the gym, I found my feet carrying me into the crowd of students as we sang our song.

Since the song was ‘a repeat after me song’, I would sing a line and then I’d bend down to one of the students so they could sing their part into the microphone, too. What a lot of fun that was!!!

We dimmed the lights so that I could continue with the slide show presentation. I started with a brief history of how the Peacebus came into being.

And then, I shared the history of ‘Their Home, Too!’

I didn’t show all 63 images – that would have taken a very long time – but I did show all of the artworks created by the students from this school. First I would show an artwork and mention the student’s name who had created it. Then I would ask the audience to applaud as the student was called to the front of the gym. Then I would talk about the artwork and then continue to the next.

One by one, the students were called to the front of the gym.

As I talked about the artworks, I would use one of my hands to point to whatever it was I was talking about, by putting it in the light from the projector. Boy! I sure look serious in this photo!!! But I assure you, the presentation was filled with many moments of laughter and cheer!

Soon, all the students’ names had been called and it was time to lift up the projection screen to see the final artwork that was hiding behind. Mr. O’Keefe (seen of the right) was the delegate from the Children’s Health Foundation, who came to accept our donation. He was very shocked at the high quality of art that these young students had created and he was very happy to accept this for the hospital!!!!

What a busy time of year for Mr. Jim and the Peacebus. Television interviews, art project unveilings and…

… a photo in the London Free Press!!!!

The school year ended just a few days ago, and I already miss all of the students who rode on the Peacebus. To the graduating students I am extending my best wishes for their experiences in high school, next fall. To the rest of the students I am wishing them a most enjoyable summer, filled with sports, swimming, camping and many many artful adventures. I’ll look forward to seeing them again this Autumn!

“Just remember that even though you are on summer vacation, it is still important to follow the 3 Peacebus rules every single day…. 1) Learn something {anything at all}, 2) Have fun {always have fun doing whatever it is you are doing} and the most important rule is 3) Be peaceful!!!!!!”

Mr. Jim


Amoz Ikway said...

Wow Jim, it's so lovely to see the increased community cohesiveness around the peacebus. The schools, the principals, the bus line being so happy and supportive, and to crown it all, the new community television program.

Wonderful work !


Amoz Ikway said...

Wow Jim, it's so lovely to see the increased community cohesiveness around the peacebus. The schools, the principals, the bus line being so happy and supportive, and to crown it all, the new community television program.

Wonderful work !